There are enormous benefits to having a hobby in your life you enjoy. Whether you play Fantasy Football or a sport that’s your hobby, it doesn’t matter so much what the activity is. Instead, what matters is that you have something in your life outside of your career or responsibilities that gives you a sense of structure and improves your quality of life.
Some of the benefits of having a hobby as an adult include:
- Having a hobby is a good way to unwind and de-stress. Too often in our lives, we don’t have a healthy outlet, and everything that we do in a day are the things we have to do. When you don’t have a way to let go of stress, you might instead begin to rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol use.
- Engaging in a hobby can help you have higher self-esteem and more confidence in yourself.
- You may be able to build a social network and group of friends through the shared interest of whatever your hobby is.
- You’re a more interesting, well-rounded person when you have interests. You can explore things that you find compelling, making you more interesting to other people.
- Adding a hobby to life gives you a sense of structure that may help you be more productive in other parts of your life.
- People with hobbies engaged with different things in their lives are often more creative thinkers.
- You might improve your physical health. In research, people who engage more in enjoyable activities have been found to have smaller waists, lower body mass index, lower blood pressure, lower levels of stress hormones, as well as improved overall physical function.
With those benefits in mind, you may be wondering how to find a hobby that will work for your interests and the amount of time you have available. The following are some ways to get started.
Look Around and See What Other People Are Doing
A good starting point if you’d like to enrich your life with a hobby is simply looking at the people around you. What are they doing? Do your friends, or family members have hobbies that maybe you think you could explore too?
For example, maybe you have a friend who plays golf, and you might like to tag along, or a family member who plays tennis.
Just start to get a broad idea of the things available to you by looking at the people already closest to you.
You may find that their hobbies don’t interest you but could lead you to consider something else.
Go into the hobby search with an open mind because you might stumble across something you never envisioned.
What Are Your Reasons for Wanting a Hobby?
Think about your priorities and what you want to achieve by having a hobby at all. For example, is your goal to be more physically active or meet new people? Maybe you want to get creative, or perhaps your goal is just to disengage with some of the stress in your daily life.
What you hope to achieve on a personal level can be a good guide as to what you might try.
If you’re someone who has a hard time relaxing or doing things you don’t see as having a purpose, outlining a goal for your hobby can be beneficial and encourage you to stick with it.
Consider What You Already Enjoy
We enjoy things in our everyday lives that maybe we don’t even think about. For example, maybe you enjoy spending time with your dog. If so, perhaps your hobby becomes volunteering for a rescue organization.
You might enjoy looking up facts online. If so, you could find a trivia team.
If you like going out for meals, consider making your hobby learning how to cook.
To stick with a hobby and derive value from it in your life, it needs to be something you like—not something that you think other people like.
What Were You Interested In As a Child?
We as adults feel so far away from who we were as children, but in reality, what you enjoyed as a child could very easily become a hobby as an adult. For example, maybe you liked reading so you could form a book club.
You might have liked a particular sport, so now, you could find an adult league.
Sometimes, improving our quality of life through hobbies boils down to getting back to our roots and what we loved before the stress of adulthood took over our lives.
Try a Lot of Different Things
Often when we have no idea what we truly like and feel passionate about in life, we should just try as many things as possible. Through trial and error, we figure out what’s compelling to us. If you try some things and you don’t love them, that’s okay too.
It can take time and several tries to find what sticks, but don’t give up. You might meet some great people along the way too.
Once you home in on a good hobby for you, it’s going to be a great way to help you find work-life balance and give your all to other areas of your life, such as your family and relationship. You’re going to feel like a well-rounded person, and that’s important to make sure all areas of your life are being cultivated.
Having a hobby is also important to help you be mindful of your downtime. Often, we can sink hours into mindless activities like scrolling social media. While it’s fine to do those mindless activities sometimes, we lack mindfulness in how we’re spending our time. You might come home from work and simply crash.
That’s not necessarily going to be the best way to recharge and feel rejuvenated, whereas a hobby can keep you feel engaged with everything going on around you.